Until recently, the discussion of parental alienation issues in Arizona and across the country were seldom in the news. The term can be hard to pin down, but according to some researchers it can be stated as a series of aggressive behaviors toward another individual. These behaviors are most commonly emotional or psychological actions designed to cause harm, and they involve actions between parents and children across a spectrum of scenarios.

According to a report in the Arizona Daily Independent, one scenario is when a parent uses a child as a weapon in custody disputes.  A common dynamic of this form of parental alienation occurs when the parent who was awarded full custody of a child uses that power to punish the other parent by in some form attempting to destroy the other parent’s relationship with the child. Court cases that are often seen as only custody disputes include aspects of parental alienation that judges and lawyers may not be attuned to and that may include instances of child abuse or partner abuse.

In the realm of child support and child custody cases, many disputes inevitably arise that may or may not involve parental alienation. According to the State Bar of Arizona, the termination of parental rights must be filed in Juvenile court.  In the case of parenting time conflicts, a petition must be filed with the court to resolve the dispute, or private mediation services may be requested. Modifications of guardianship issues must be handled in Juvenile court. Many custody disputes will not rise to the level of parental alienation.